A House for Every Bird

by Megan Maynor (Author) Kaylani Juanita (Illustrator)

Reading Level: K − 1st Grade

A young artist's drawings rebel against her when she tries to put her sketched birds in houses that match how they look, but not how they feel in this hilarious picture book perfect for readers of Julian is a Mermaid and The Big Orange Splot.

A young artist has drawn birds and bird houses in corresponding colors. Now it's time to match them up. The blue bird goes in the blue house, the orange bird in the orange house, and so on.

But wait! The birds don't agree with the narrator's choices and, much to her distress, are rebelling by swapping houses.

Can the narrator make the birds see sense? Or is it possible that you just can't tell a bird by its feathers?

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Kirkus Reviews

A fresh and funny take on an old moral.

Publishers Weekly

A young brown-skinned artist draws an eclectic group of birds in this funny and subtly incisive story, each with a quirky house that matches their color or size: "Red for red,/ tall for tall./ A house/ for one,/ a house/ for all." But the creations immediately balk--and squawk--at being pigeonholed based on their looks. Blue Bird and Orange Bird insist on swapping houses ("Blue is my vibe--so cool, so calm," says Orange Bird); a diminutive bird wants larger digs to accommodate a huge singing group, and Large Bird prefers snug quarters "where I can touch all the walls at once." Seeing their rebellion as nothing short of ingratitude, the child gestures in frustration: "How was I supposed to KNOW what you like?"--"ASK US!" is the reply. Both Maynor's (Helga Makes a Name for Herself) dialogue text and Juanita's (When Aidan Became a Brother) digital art have a loose, improvisational feel that captures the thrill and frustration of a work in progress--and the value of empathy and flexibility in getting to know others. Ages 3-6. Author's agent: Minju Chang, BookStop Literary. Illustrator's agent: Charlotte Sheedy, Charlotte Sheedy Literary. (Feb.)

Copyright 2021 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

"Use this to open a discussion on using words rather than assumptions, or as an introduction to the way art can go in unexpected directions."—The Bulletin
Megan Maynor
Henry at Home is Megan Maynor's fourth picture book. It was inspired by her son's reaction, several years ago, when her daughter went off to kindergarten. She lives with her family in Minnesota.

Alea Marley, like Liza, is an older sister. She has illustrated several picture books and she lives in the UK.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication date
February 16, 2021
BISAC categories
JUV002040 - Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Birds
JUV019000 - Juvenile Fiction | Humorous Stories
JUV009020 - Juvenile Fiction | Concepts | Colors
Library of Congress categories
Humorous stories
Picture books
Imagination in children

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